Intimate Relationships: Eight Facets Of A Healthy Family Culture

We are at the last of the eight facets of a healthy family culture!  Writing about the impact that the state of intimate relationships in a household can be a tricky proposition for many reasons, and one I hesitated writing about until the end.

First of all, I don’t want those in families led by a single adult to feel not included or to feel that a single family household is somehow sub-par. I also know from over the years that different marriages and partnerships have different feels to them, and how different couples define “a good marriage” seems to vary,  but somehow they work, so giving “advice” about this seems to be difficult at best.

However, what I have seen over the years is that when the intimate relationships within the household are not working well or are strained, it affects family culture, it can really affect the children, and so I did want to mention this as part of the foundation of healthy family life.

Many sources say it is actually not conflict that diminishes marriages, but rather lack of kindness, lack of patience and tolerance and a general lack of sense of love or being loved.

John M. Gottman, in the book “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”, asserts that happy marriages are based upon a “mutual respect for and enjoyment  of each other’s company. These couples tend to know each other intimately – they are well versed in each other’s likes, dislikes, personality quirks, hopes, and dreams.  They have

an abiding regard for each other and express this fondness not just in the big ways but the little ways day in and day out.”  This book is such an interesting read, we are going to go through it chapter by chapter on this blog starting this week!

I have written some back posts about marriage.  You can find these posts under the “marriage” tab under “Family Life” in the header of this blog starting here:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/category/family-life/marriage-family-life/

Homeschooling, raising small children, the financial strain that can go with raising a family, can all seem to draw a couple closer together or drive them further apart.  I would love to hear from you:  what do you do to nurture your marriage or partnership?  If you are alone and doing all this, how do you nourish yourself?  If you are in marriage but still rather alone in marriage, how do you cope with this?

I would love to hear from you!

Many blessings and much love,

Carrie

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3 thoughts on “Intimate Relationships: Eight Facets Of A Healthy Family Culture

  1. The key is what are you doing about your own individual issues. Do you recognize or acknowledge your issues? Are you actively working on changing, growing, and healing from your own dysfunction? Lets face it, we are all works in progress who can do a better job in our relationships with some effort. For starters, healthy relationships happen when we let go of the past hurt, anger, and sadness.

  2. Thank you Carrie for this beautiful post and it’s resources.

    I wanted to share with you how my husband and I nurture our Mariage.

    We had the wonderful but frightening surprise of our first pregnancy very early in our relationship. While we trusted that baby knew best and had chosen us as mother and father, this did not help the fact that we really didn’t know one another very intimately. And so it was, that for the early years to follow the birth of our first child we came to know one another more so in the role of parent than spouse.

    We were quick to make this realization and decided upon a few ways to nurture our relationship and to build a deeper connection.

    Here are some of the things that we do:
    – date night: this is often done in the privacy of our own home. Once the children are sleeping, we share in a sacred time of sharing where all devices and media are put to rest allowing us the space for intimacy.
    – spa night: this is also like a date! On these nights, we run a bath and soak together in the warm and soothing tub and occasionally turn it into a massage session.
    – meditation and yoga: during these moments, we practice some simple yoga and guided meditation together. If we have something to share regarding out experience, we do so afterward.
    – evening walks: when my mother is in from out of town, once the children are asleep, often we will take walks to share and simply be together.
    – family drives and exploration: nurturing our family has a direct effect on our relationship as parents. We love getting out to the country for a little family adventure and if the children have a little snooze in the car, we take the time to share in an intimate moment.
    – keeping it simple: by living a lifestyle below our means, we do not suffer the stress associated with financial debt.
    – personal time: we have created a support system in which we help one another to take the time and space needed to connect with ourselves. When you grow, everyone grows!
    – giving gratitude: we take the time at least once a week to express what we are grateful for. In everyday moments, we try to remember to thank each other where thanks can be given. When you feel appreciated, you naturally wan to give more.

    These are just a few simple ways in which we nurture our Mariage. Really, it can be very simple when you slow down and remember to meet all occasions with love, empathy and compassion.

    Blessings of love and light to you!
    Christine

  3. I think one of the best qualities in any long term relationship, that has existed within mine and my husband’s from the start, is an active individual life. In college people would comment that they liked how much my husband (boyfriend at the time, of course) and I enjoyed being together, but seemed to still be so interested in our own things. We value our own lives and interests and respect the other’s different interests and place in life and I think because of it, we have a stronger relationship. i guess our confidence and foundation of self-love is strong enough that we don’t become co-dependent. We don’t rely on each other to fulfill our lack of self-love, so while conflict and hardship will arise (as it has) and we are okay through it all to support each other but not take too much of the other person on… I think I explained that right. :)

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